6-30-17 Friday

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Hi Robyn! I would love to ask you and the L&H hive mind for any suggestions. I have a cat who is too skinny. He is three years old, a street rescue, and has always been skinny but it was thought to be due to being a stray. Multiple vets say nothing is wrong that they can find, but they urge me to get weight on him. Their suggestions were to simply give him more food, but … that’s the problem. He has ZERO food drive. He would rather play with his catnip mouse than eat.

I have tried every food out there on the market and from home, from homemade raw to Alley Cat kibble and all stops in between. It became a challenge for the fellow at the local healthy pet food store, he called every distributor for free cans/packets/pouches/etc of everything! Human food, baby human food, freshly hunted/caught meat, you name it, I have tried it. I even got Chewy on it – they sent me things the local shop couldn’t get, and it became a challenge for them, too! I still get questions from them about his eating, and had I tried X brand yet.

He eats about four bites of food, happily stops and washes his face and licks his chops, and purrs while he walks away to wrestle with a toy. And then doesn’t want to eat again until the next day.

So next on the list of possibilities is to try syringe-feeding a supplement to boost his nutrients and calories. Are there any suggestions for safe products? Reading about some of the ones that are commercially available, online, is rather scary!

Happy to hear other suggestions except trying different brands of food – trust me. I have tried it already. (My mailman asked me “how many freakin’ cats you got in that place?” as he brought me the 20th Chewy box in a month…)

I have tried Nutri-Cal with varying results – for the most part, they tend not to mind the flavor but I think the texture isn’t something they love.

But I do wonder how necessary it is to get weight on the cat – like humans, some cats are skinnier than others, and if the vets can’t find anything wrong with him and he seems perfectly happy, do you need to stress yourself out trying to get him to eat? (This is not a judgement, I hope it doesn’t come across as that – I’m genuinely curious. I guess it also depends on whether he’s just skinny or actually emaciated.)

Other than the Nutri-Cal, my mind is blank – it sounds like you’ve tried everything I would have suggested. I hope that maybe someone has a better suggestion? (With a holiday weekend coming up page views tend to decrease drastically, so I will likely go ahead and post this next Friday also so more people see it.)


It looks like the new fosters are just as nutty as Praline and Roux. Will they meet?

Probably not for a couple of weeks – but it depends. We’ll play it by ear!


Would you please take a close up photo of the picture of the lady on Fred’s bedroom wall? It looks pretty. I have seen it a few times and was always curious about it. Thanks.

I had that picture on my bedroom wall growing up (I was very into ballet for a while). I recently found it when I was decluttering closets, and hung it up. I think it’s pretty – Fred isn’t crazy about it, but hey – who says he gets a vote?


I love Roux’s little smile.

Praline from above, with Roux refusing to look at me.

Roux from above, with Praline refusing to look at me.

Praline in the Tiny Basket.

And Roux in the Tiny Basket.

The girls have had free access to the entire house (except for the foster room) since Wednesday night, and they spend about 98% of their time upstairs. When Fred shut them out of his room Wednesday night, they played for a little while and then ended up sleeping on a bath mat in Fred’s tub. I mean, I would have been HAPPY to let the little brats sack out on my bed with me, but I guess upstairs is home to them for now. Like all fosters, as time goes on they’ll expand their territory.


The fosters-in-waiting are now in the foster room! Let’s re-meet them, shall we?

Belle took one look around the foster room, went into the closet and is currently hanging out on top of the tall filing cabinet, where the kittens can’t get to her. She was just spayed Wednesday, so she’s still healing.

Chip, who walks over to me and howls every time I walk into the room.

Gaston, who hid in the closet for about an hour until he realized there was playin’ going on in the foster room, and he hasn’t stopped playing since.

Mrs. Potts, who isn’t sure what the deal is, but thinks she fits nicely in this oversized tea cup.

Lumiere, who – yay! – has already been adopted. The people who adopted Charlotte have adopted him, and he’ll go home in a few weeks, once he’s neutered.

Agnes, who is completely insane.

And Ressler, who purrs if you so much as look in his direction. (Also, he looks so much like Gaston that I’m going to have to collar the two of them so I’ll be able to tell them apart.)

You might be a little confused about Agnes and Ressler, since I’ve only mentioned them once (twice?) before. I hadn’t intended to bring them home yesterday, but Susan said “You’re going to take the other two, too, right?”, so obviously I said yes.

I worried a little how the kittens would react to each other, but it’s been fine – Belle’s kittens are curious and interested, and Chip wants to be BFFs. Ressler is interested in the other kittens, and Agnes pauses long enough in her racing around playing to spit at them. She’s perfecting her drive-by spitting technique. She’s almost got it down!

Belle’s kittens are nearly 9 weeks old, and Agnes and Ressler are a couple of weeks older. They’ll be with us for at least three weeks, possibly longer. However, if you see one you’ve fallen in love with, feel free to contact Challenger’s House now instead of waiting!

Gaston on the scratcher, and Ressler with the Ears of Annoyance.

Ressler readies the Slappin’ Paw.

Gaston’s all “I AIN’T SKEERED O’ YOU!”



Pink appears to be Newt’s color.


2016: Such a big ol’ teddy bear.
2015: Yes, Committee of Judgemental Kittens, I KNOW THAT THE TUB NEEDS TO BE CLEANED.
2014: “We don’t miss no stinkin’ Uncle Dennis!”
2013: No entry.
2012: No entry.
2010: “I’m gonna jump!”
2009: Fun facts about Creed.
2008: He just looks at her like “I don’t know what you want, but I wish you’d be quiet about it!”
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



6-30-17 Friday — 39 Comments

  1. Mirtazapine. If it’s really necessary to get him to eat, this is the stuff. My late Ernie had kidney cancer and was just emaciated. This bought him another month since he started eating again. My Stage 3 kidney disease cat, Joey, is also very thin and he’s been started on this and is now eating nearly a full 6 oz can of kidney diet every day. Ask your vet. But I concur with Robyn, I’ve had fat cats and thinner (healthy) cats. He may be just fine.

    • Yes! Mirtazapine! Spanky was on that in his last few weeks, and it stimulated his appetite amazingly well.

  2. I’m sure Mrs. Potts is happy there’s another girl kitten. Looking forward to the Belle Starr bunch.

  3. Mrs. Potts and Chip photos in a big teacup… How purrfectly cute and fitting will those be?! LOL

    • I was trying for that very picture this morning – he kept bouncing back out before I could take a picture. Brat! 😀

  4. For cats that aren’t eating: Viyo Recuperate for cats is REALLY good. Also, ask your vet for an appetite stimulant!

  5. Aw, hey there little guys! Maybe it’s just the angle, but I would have put Agnes and Ressler at younger than Belle’s babies.

    • I think it’s because of the different body types – Agnes and Ressler are short and stout and have baby faces, while Belle’s babies are long and sleek and angular. The dates of birth are just a guesstimation, but Susan’s pretty good at aging kittens (better than I am, for sure).

  6. Oooo I want more pics of Agnes! She looks adorable and insane =) I already have one crazy pants kitten right now. My apartment is full of tinfoil trying to keep her off things and away from the back of the TV/computer. Is it sad that my mom admonishment is,” Don’t make me get the tinfoil! You know I will!”

    • Yes please on more photos! She looks so similar to my Coco, who was also insane as a kitten. I had to go out and get her a kitten playmate to keep her occupied and (sort of) out of trouble.

  7. Our Mozart is very skinny as well. And thankfully the vets seem OK with it. That said, I had a nasty note left from a pet sitter once (who was uninvited to return) that he was SO VERY THIN. Sure he is…compared to the other cats in the house. If the vets don’t think there is anything wrong (and I’m guessing they have run a full blood panel to be sure), let it go. Though – maybe also get one of those toys that you can put treats in and put some food in there….maybe playing with it will encourage him to eat a little more since he “killed it himself”. 🙂

    • I actually did that with my chubby chubby. Made her work for her extra food if she was still hungry.

      Just took a plastic bottle, cut a small hole and filled it with food. Annoyed her to no end but it worked.

    • Our Pogo is a tiny boy too. He fluctuates between 6-7 pounds while his brother is just about twice his weight. But Bander is bigger than him in every way – taller, longer and his head is almost twice as big as well. We think Pogo was the runt and just stayed runty. But he’s very healthy although he feels like he’s just skin and bones. There’s only one time the vet said she wanted him to gain weight and that’s when he was 6.1 lbs. She did all the blood work, etc. and found nothing wrong with him. So we started giving him soft food along with the hard and that helped put on one more pound. But although we’re still doing that he barely eats the soft, he is definitely a grazer. He’s just one that’s not real interested in eating either, but as long as he is eating, happy and healthy in all other ways we’re not going to push him.

      I like the idea of the toy with food, with his playfulness that should at least get a few more calories in him. Good luck!

  8. OMC Lumiere and Charlotte, with her beautiful grey coat, will make a stunning pair o’ kittehs when they are together!! I hope their new family will send us pictures!

    And “drive-by spitting” almost made me spit my own drink out! Yes, we need video!!

    You sure you mentioned Agnes and Ressler before?? I don’t usually forget a tortie, but then again… 😀

  9. Someone just mentioned on Facebook that catnip can be an appetite suppressant for some cats; I thought I’d pass that along, I’ve never heard that before.

  10. I cannot remember if it is a steroid shot or some sort of B vitamin, but it is supposed to stimulate appetite. However, if your kitty is thin but healthy, leave him alone. I was thin, in my youth, and then became “normal” around 40. So, it is probably just how he is wired. If he is emaciated, that id different. I would then syringe feed him a quality wet food. Mix it with water and blend (like in a food processer until smooth.
    These are excellent syringes:

    However, don’t syringe feed him unless there truly is a problem.

  11. Robyn, thanks for the close-up of the ballerina pic. It is pretty. Husbands have NO say in the decorating of the home. They get the garage! LOL

  12. Re: skinny cat: I would agree with Robyn’s assesment that if he seems otherwise happy and healthy, and the vete can’t find anything wrong, I wouldn’t worry about him. Cyproheptadine (appetite stimulant) crossed my mind. But we usually use that for kittens who don’t want to eat to jumpstart their appetite. We don’t use it ongoing.

  13. this goes without saying, but I assume that you’ve tried the ‘gravy’ cat food varieties and heating up his food? Sometimes the smell would tempt one of my older kitties.

    Also assume that you’ve tried the dairy family: cheese tidbits, cream, cottage cheese, yogurt and while Robyn doesn’t approve, a lick or two of ice cream?

  14. Agnes’s little penguin stance is cracking me up. I’m guessing that she’s a real character.

  15. https://www.ethansoutlet.online/Item_i820089?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyPWtzf_l1AIVR7XACh0MGQy7EAYYByABEgJUTvD_BwE

    You might try the No Bowl Feeding System since your kitty loves his catnip mouse. They are mice that you fill with dry food. There are holes in it and the kitty must “hunt” and play with the mouse in order to get the food. It’s supposed to appeal to a cat’s hunting instincts, they are happier working for their food. If the link doesn’t work, just google.

  16. Regarding SkinnyCat, I agree that being skinny is OK if he’s healthy. The thought that occurred to me, though is this: is he an only cat? If so, maybe a buddy with a good appetite might inspire him. Maybe not the best reason to get another cat… LOL

    Oh, and have you tried adding olive (or other) oil to his dry food? It’d add calories and maybe even improve skin/coat.

  17. I’m visiting my best friend who runs Minn-Kota PAAWS and she made a few suggestions. First of all, like Robyn said, it might just be that he’s thin and it should be ok unless he is also constipated. Since he is relatively young he might like to eat more and gain weight once he’s a bit older. Also if he’s not neutered the testosterone might be making him a bit crazy (she’s pretty sure the vets checked his thyroids and if he had worms). He might also do better if he’s put in a room like a bathroom to eat with no toys that might divert him or if the owner got another cat so he might become a bit competitive regarding the food. One last idea is to try to feed him some moist food on a spoon by hand.

  18. I wanted to add my two cents worth on putting weight on the cat. Three is still relatively young and his metabolism is still probably very high. As Robyn stated, like people, some cats are naturally skinny. To attempt to get him to eat more than what he’s driven to eat would set you and he up for an overweight adult cat as he adopts the eating habits (of eating more than he’s naturally driven to) now and when his metabolism slows with age, the extra food will contribute to more disease than a ‘scrawny, lanky adolescent’. If all else (blood panel, organ status, etc.) checks out, just love his skinny self…

    I LOVE the ballerina picture and I LOVE the new kittens… alllllll of them!

  19. I absolutely LOVED spending time with these kittens while they were at the shelter. Chip was the social director, so friendly and sweet. His tail killed me how he would lay it on his back. Agnes is so full of spunk. I think she needs a puppy. Sending much love to these little muffins and praying their people come for them soon!!!

  20. In my in box from Cydney this morning:

    Hi Robyn! Cyproheptadine is an appetite stimulant I used on my 2 boy cats when they were losing weight. I used a rubber finger glove to apply the drug to the inside of the thinnest part of the cat’s ear. The drug had been modified by the drugstore per the vet’s instructions to put into a syringe and was kind of like squirting thick lotion out on the finger glove. I was told not to touch it with a bare finger because it would increase my appetite as well, yikes! It took a week or two before I noticed a definite effect. I weaned them off slowly as they gained weight. Both kids put on a couple of pounds by the time I fully stopped. Hope it helps.